People who have been following The Travel Channel's top rated show, 'Ghost Adventures' may have noticed a more subdued presence from it's co-hosts Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, and Nick Groff this past year. The seasoned investigators have done countless investigations and have just recently completed their 100th episode for the network. Viewers may have noticed a not so subtle change in the demeanor of the team.
What's changed for the investigators over the past year ? The once over the top and exuberant lead investigator, Zak Bagans, as well as his crew seem to have become more mature, careful, and hesitant in the team's investigations, discussions and approaches to each location lock down in contrast to recent years episodes.
I discuss with both Zak and Aaron as well as their 100th episode milestone airing this Friday night at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific.
Allie Hanley: Zak, Nick, Aaron and the rest of the Ghost Adventures Crew have come along ways since the original documentary in 2004. The team has investigated all over the United States as well as many intriguing international destinations like Ireland and Italy. Along the way you have met countless people who have shared their personal experiences with the supernatural, and captured some of the most captivating evidence of the paranormal to-date. You've also spoken/worked alongside renowned investigators of the supernatural and the clergy. You've learned a lot since the early days of when you would not hesitate to yell, entice, provoke a spirit anyway you could think of. I recall one time when Zak rested his head beneath an axe and dared the spirits to move it! You recently investigated the original house that the film "The Exorcist" is based upon.
Could each of you guys touch on how this milestone of getting to 100 episodes has changed your life; and Zak, can you elaborate on how you have personally matured over the course of all these seasons and investigations as well the effects of this upon your personal life?
Zak Bagans: Well investigating up to 100 episodes has definitely matured us. And it’s matured us on a level of knowledge within this paranormal field. And the way that we have learned and gained our knowledge is through our various investigations and the different professionals, scientists and demonologists <and what not> that we have interviewed.
Like on the 100th episode of the Exorcist, we brought in one of the most educated demonologists in the world, Dr. Bradshaw. He’s from Scotland, and he and others like him are the people that we ultimately gain our knowledge from in this field. We will never be able - nobody, nobody on this planet will ever be able to answer the question of what happens when you die? Nobody. Nobody. But what we can answer, are the questions that we have about how are we able to capture these voices. And how are we able to experience these compelling events and what not. You know these spirits are speaking.
They’re answering questions. And we still don’t know how they’re able to do that. But all we can do now is just capture this evidence.
And it just keeps getting more and more compelling it seems the longer and deeper we are in this field.
Allie Hanley: I’m really interested to hear Nick on this too.
Nick Groff: Yes. I mean Zak is absolutely right. So over the years of you know a lot of learning just in general comes from experience with anything that you do. And with Zak, Aaron and myself as paranormal investigators, we go to a new location week after week. And we are learning so much about life. About death. About all the things that goes through everybody’s mind no matter what their background is.
And that’s so compelling to us because we just feel like we skated on thin ice for so long on that other side.
Like we’re almost in between two places, two dimensions with what we’re doing sometimes. And to me that’s scary. Most of the time, you don’t know who you’re communicating with, or what dimension, or what? You know it gets really.... you can theorize and you can sit here all day, and we can talk about different -you know pathways, that happens after you die.
What we've learned through capturing evidence with intelligence spirits, with residuals, with demonic forces, with even negative energies, which is the most scariest for me is the positive and negative you know out lashes of energies that were running and communicating with at different locations. And I think that’s what I've learned.
Personally if these energies - and the scariest thing for me is coming into contact with something that’s negative where it can actually attach itself to you personally and really have an out-lash on your health, your physical well being, your mental state.
And it can linger with you for a long time unless you put yourself in that positive surrounding where you don’t let it win and destroy your life and everything around it. And the 3 of us have gone through that. We’re still going through it. And it’s very scary. It’s dangerous.
And we didn’t realize that when we first started, did we Zak?
Zak Bagans: No. And you know Nick made a good point. And you know I guess it’s something that is personnel but we’ll tell you guys. You know we are dealing with attachments. And I’m dealing with them right now. And I don’t know what they’re doing.
I am seeking various people to help me with it. They’re very real, the things that they do in my home. The things that they do to people that I get close to.
Every girl that I ever tried to have a relationship will have an experience. I have a possessive female spirit <attachment>. You know I was also told I have a demonic attachment. And they make me sick. They make me agitated. And it’s a side that nobody sees. And it’s something that Nick, Aaron, and I can turn to these guys, Bill and Jay, our other guys. And these are guys that I can talk to now. So it’s brought us closer together even though we’ll still have our stupid little -you know friendly fights and stuff.
These 100 episodes have brought us closer together because they've been through it and they understand it. So you know we are dealing with it now. And it - sometimes it’s great and sometime it comes back.
And it’s just, -It’s crazy.
And you know going to the Exorcist house and seeing what can happen to a little boy in a worst case scenario, a diabolical possession, that’s when it gets bad. That’s when it goes from just having an attachment to having a full on diabolical possession where you’re not even in control of your own body anymore. You know your body is not your body anymore.
It’s the body of Satan. And even just saying that out loud right now in this hotel room makes me - it’s scary. It’s scary to know that I don’t know what else is listening to it around me.
And that’s how deep we are involved in these investigations; And this is why we get the help of the most educated demonologists in the world. We talk to the family members of the exorcists from the exorcism portrayed by the movie, "The Exorcist."
And this is the level that we’re at. And while we were at that house, we communicated with something. We communicated with an entity. And we shared that evidence with a priest, an exorcist, Father Jack Ashcraft who is supposed to join us on this investigation. And on the way to the investigation with his brother, he had a medical emergency, a freak medical emergency in his car that he had to go from meeting us to go to the hospital. And during the filming of that episode, I also had a medical thing happen that was just like his.
We have actually asked ourselves "how far do we want to keep going with this. Do we really want to keep doing demonic investigations? What have we gotten ourselves into?"
But we’re involved in it and this is what we do.
While watching the episode that airs this Friday, aka "The Exorcist House" during the middle of the day at a Starbucks Coffee Shop, I had to actually pause it several times and just take a break for a moment. It's not the show is just beyond spooky. It's just knowing that the guys are experiencing a lot more than we actually get to see in the show gives me the heebie geebies. Knowing that, and seeing the looks on their faces, and in their eyes puts me on edge. I have personally interviewed these guys over the past five years and am now witnessing a real change in their core personalities. Granted life changes all of us, but in this case its a lot more than that.
It's more than them just growing up and becoming mature as Zak described it in our talk. These guys are going through something that we can only get a hint of on the show. I get the feeling that all three of them, especially Nick who told me, that its not just a show but a calling. I think they feel like something positive out there is not only leading them to investigate - with what seemed like coincidences early on - but is actually a positive force (and sometimes they think negative forces as well) that is taking them on this investigative journey. The on-going result is that negativity is spilling out into their personal lives. For how long they did not say, but all three were open in admitting that all are experiencing the fall out of their investigations in various ways. For the uninitiated to the show, some of what they say would at first seemed far-fetched. But complied with the compilation of all of their shows a real picture is beginning to emerge and the show hosts are doing their best to articulate what they are experiencing even though words sometimes fail them.
In the Exorcist episode, Father Ashcraft warns the guys that if Satan feels they are a threat, then indeed they could expect a lot of activity at the house (whether its still haunted or not). The spirit box brings over some very meaningful words that tie in one of the most memorable episodes to date.
Knowing that they are experiencing their own -very intense- occurrences that include things that you would expect -bumps in the night etc, but also Zak and all the guys have had actual physical illness, medical emergencies, and personality changes, they describe as feeling anxious or aggressive makes me think and wonder just what it is that's driving them and I sometimes think they are wondering the same.
As for this latest episode, the intensity of what goes on and speaking to them about what happens after the fact just sums up the risks these guys are taking.
The show may have started out as a means to proving the paranormal and giving the guys an opportunity to earn a living doing their passion, but I think it's evolving more into a means of contending and dealing with the paranormal. Terms from the first season included spirits, and residual haunting. 100 episodes later we are now hearing things like possession, demonic possession, demonic forces, negative and positive energies, and the use of even more state-of-the-art equipment. The haunted look in the guys eyes is testament to their experiences. We may be getter a clearer picture of the paranormal and the supernatural from all of their hard word, but I wonder at what cost?
The behind-the-scenes and aftermath to the show is quietly taking its toll upon the crew who are just now admitting to having issues from all the investigations. In essence they have collected a whole lot of super-natural baggage and are dealing with that now as a reality. Whether you are a believer or not, and most people who watch are, you can only imagine that the guys have been called to this profession.
I think it's noteworthy to mention that the owners of the Exorcist home appear at no time on camera nor relate any personal experiences while living in the house but after watching the episode I couldn't help but feel concerned for them.
The 100th episode airs this Friday at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific and be on the look out for their Halloween special in which they investigate the actual castle of "Dracula."